Vigil Is Now Crytek USA; No More Darksiders
Once THQ’s auction ended on Jan. 23, there was no word on Darksiders developer Vigil Games being purchased, and by Jan. 25, the studio was shut down and all employees let go. But on Jan. 28, Crytek announced that that former Vigil lead David Adams would run Crytek USA Corp. as CEO and would bring on the core members of his former team.
Speaking with GamesBeat, Crytek chief executive officer Cevat Yerli revealed some information about the decision to acquire the Vigil team. “We were surprised when nobody bid on Vigil,” Yerli said. “We would have liked to have bid, but there were too many unknowns.”
Crytek already had plans to start a U.S. Crytek corporation, and Yerli thought that the Vigil team could work. “We had chosen Austin as the destination for [our U.S. branch], and we needed a lean and core team of expert to run the studio,” he said. “At the same time, we didn’t want to continue with Darksiders 3, since that doesn’t fit with our strategy. So when I heard that [THQ laid off everyone at Vigil], I decided on Saturday morning to fly out to meet with them to see if the team would be interested to join our mission, which is significantly different than what this team has done before.”
After that one meeting, it was a done deal. “This is probably the fastest establishment ever [for a new studio],” Yerli said. “I don’t think you could establish a studio faster than this. Only a few people within Crytek even knew this was happening because we didn’t have time to update people. So it was a surprise for a lot of people within Crytek.”
Yerli has faith in the team, even though Darksiders isn’t a franchise he plans to pursue. “My point is, I saw a history of games that spoke to the team’s capabilities,” he said. “I saw, from a corporate-culture perspective, a very fit core team, and I saw a strong leader in front of me.”
Crytek USA is currently employing roughly 30 to 40 people, so not everyone from Vigil is making the transition to this new studio, though the possibility exists that more may be brought on in the future.